The Emergency Trauma Bandage or
The “Israeli Bandage”
Catastrophic blood loss is the leading cause of death among casualties on the battlefield. While there are several components in the IFAK that are designed to control critical bleeding, the Emergency Trauma Bandage or “Israeli Bandage” is a versatile and efficient tool that has proved to do more than just that. The bandage was first introduced to Ukraine in 2014, and has been attributed to saving both lives and limbs on the battlefield.
The Emergency Trauma Bandage was invented by Bernard Bar-Natan, founder of First Care Products Ltd., a Jerusalem-based startup company. Bar-Natan was a serviceman in Israel, drafted in 1983, who saw a need for a dressing that did not yet exist. As a medic, he envisioned an evolutionary bandage that would replace former improvised bandages, in order to save time in critical situations. He spent many years testing various fabrics and pressure bar devices, and by 1995, he had invented an ultimate device that would apply optimal pressure to a wound, without creating a tourniquet effect.
Now a standard for elite units of the United States Army, this very bandage has replaced previous battle dressings typically found in the first aid pouch. The bandage was first used on the larger scale during the Bosnian war where it was responsible for saving many lives. Since then, it has been an optimal tool for military, government and civilian organizations worldwide.
The Israeli Bandage is a Gamma sterilized trauma wound dressing designed for hemorrhage control. The bandage is also double-wrapped which ensures its sterility. (The outer packaging can also be used as an occlusive dressing, which can treat pneumothorax.)
It is an elasticized bandage with a non-adherent pillow pad sewn in.
The built-in pressure applicator bar is ideal as it exerts up to 30 lbs. of pressure on a wound. Once the bandage is wrapped around the wound once, the bandage is then laced through the pressure bar, allowing a change in direction of the bandaging and additional pressure to be placed on the wound. It is is ideal for treating complicated injuries such as head and groin, as it can be wrapped in different directions, very easily.
The Israeli Bandage can be used as both a field and pressure dressing. It is multifunctional and can serve as a make-shift tourniquet, a sling and even as an ACE bandage wrap.
The closure bar ensures that the bandage will not slip while secured.
The bandage comes in two sizes, 4 inches and 6, and applies continuous and additional pressure on the wound.
The bandage can be applied with one hand, thus allowing one to bandage themselves when no one is around to assist them.
The newer version of the bandage is threaded with a Stop & Go Release string which prevents the bandage from unraveling and losing its sterility.
How it is used
Bleeding can be controlled by applying a pressure bandage such as the Israeli bandage. In severe cases, a tourniquet is required to stop the blood flow completely. However, once the tourniquet is applied and the casualty evaluated and evacuated, the Israeli Bandage can be applied overtop, and the tourniquet loosened. This can prevent possible limb amputation.
The Israeli bandage provides a similar function to the tourniquet and can slow down blood circulation when an actual tourniquet is not available, or when the injury is not as critical.
Instructions for Use:
From: The Combat Lifesaver Student Self-Study. The Army Institute for Professional Development. Edition B Subcourse IS0871. Pages 27-28
a. Remove the bandage from its two pouches.
b. Place the pad (dressing) on the wound.
c. Wrap the elastic bandage around the wounded extremity.
d. Insert the elastic bandage completely into the pressure bar.
e. Pull the elastic bandage back over the top of the pressure bar, forcing the bar down onto the pad.
f. Wrap the elastic bandage tightly over the pressure bar.
g. Continue to wrap the elastic bandage around the limb so that all edges of the pad are covered.
h. Secure the hooking end of the closing bar into the elastic bandage (figure F). The bandage is now secure.
The use in Ukraine and its effectiveness here
The first shipment of Israeli bandages, through Patriot Defence, arrived in Ukraine in May 2014, as an essential component in the Improved First Aid Kit (IFAK). Since then, over 14,000 have been brought into the country through the organization.
While training soldiers in Combat Lifesaver, “Patriot Defence” instructors devote a lengthy part of their instruction to the bandage. Each soldier spends at least an hour testing out various wrapping techniques through hands-on instruction both on themselves and on their colleagues. The course ends with a simulation where the trainees are put through real-life combat scenarios, where they practice applying the bandage under stressful situations.
Both instructors and medics in the field agree that the Israeli Bandage serves many functions and that by introducing this versatile bandage to Ukraine, servicemen and civilians will benefit from its practicality.
“I would say that it is one of the most useful components of the IFAK,” says one medic who underwent the training. “It is sterile, compact and multifunctional. I have seen it applied to various body parts-- to treat severe bleeding or to tend to a sprained ankle. Before the Israeli Bandage, there was no single bandage that could do so much.”
Тhe bandage has been certified by the Ministry of Health in Ukraine since May 11th 2011, registration number No 10441/2011.